I live in New York City and I'm surrounded by books all day and when I go home I have more books waiting for me. Read my "About" page on top to see what I mean. I just want to share my book experiences and my love of all-things-books, with hopefully the occasional review thrown in. If you wish to contact me, the address is polishoutlanderATgmailDOTcom

In My Mailbox (59)

So here it is: Another big IMM because it includes a month’s worth of stuff, including Christmas. So here it goes:

For Christmas, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend got me a bunch of exciting goodies from my Amazon wish list:

The Best American Comics showcases the work of both established and up-and-coming contributors. Editor Neil Gaiman—one of the top writers in modern comics and the award-winning author of novels and children’s bookshas culled the best stories from graphic novels, pamphlet comics, newspapers, magazines, mini-comics, and the Internet to create this cutting-edge collection. (I’ve been wanting to read the Comic books of this series for quite some time. I guess the price point always scared me. And interesting enough, the Comics books are fairly new. I interned at Houghton Mifflin in college for one semester, and these weren’t being done yet. And that was in 2004.)

Philosopher’s Chowder. Skinny Meatloaf. Fat Man’s Shrimp. Immediate Fudge Cake. These are just a few of the beloved recipes from Peg Bracken’s classic I HATE TO COOK BOOK. Written in a time when women were expected to have full, delicious meals on the table for their families every night, Peg Bracken offered women who didn’t revel in this obligation an alternative: quick, simple meals that took minimal effort but would still satisfy.  50 years later, times have certainly changed – but the appeal of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK hasn’t. This book is for everyone, men and women alike, who wants to get from cooking hour to cocktail hour in as little time as possible. (OK folks. I might have said this already but I’ll say it again. I don’t cook. Josh is the cook in the relationship. I’m just not comfortable in the kitchen. But I really want to change that. So we’ll see…)

Set in Forsyth’s signature world of Eileanan, a realm practically supersaturated with magic and myth, the novel chronicles the adventures of Rhiannon, a faerie half-breed who escapes her brutally abusive clan by means of a winged horse — and goes in search of her place in the world of humans. Rhiannon was born and raised in a herd of satyricorns, a race of ferocious horned faeries. Although her mother is a full-blooded satyricorn, her father was human, and as a half-breed — lacking hooves, a tail, and horns — she is looked upon as an outcast and frequently mistreated. The ill-tempered satyricorns are consummate hunters, and seeing no way to escape them on land, Rhiannon vows to do the impossible: to catch and ride a winged horse to freedom. But once free, where will the wild faerie go — and how will she survive? (Gulp! I have the Witches of Eileanan from PBS already. But do I need to read that series first to enjoy this series? Cat? I still really want to read this though!)

From my mother-in-law, I got this for Christmas:

Narnia fans, rejoice! To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, here are all seven books in the magical Chronicles of Narnia series — in one gorgeous, deluxe boxed set. Featuring the original illustrations, newly painted in full color by award-winning illustrator Pauline Baynes, this incredible set is a must-have for anyone who wants to step into the unforgettable world of Narnia time and time again. (I have the anniversary edition of the Lord the Rings so I really wanted this too!)

So that’s it for Christmas. And now for some library books, even if it’s just two:

Last year, all of Belly’s dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change–just like that. Suddenly the time she’s always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go. (I read the first one for book club and was so surprised by how much I liked it! I realized over the past few months that I’ve become very cynical when it comes to romance in YA, but the first book sort of gave me hope. I’ve been renewing this book for the past month so now I really need to finally read because it’s due back in a week and a half!)

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited? (So I have been reading about this book on the blogs and maybe, maybe, I will like it too!)

So weeks ago, I found out that Terry Moore will be going to Boston Comic Con in the Spring and I told Josh that we’re going, purely based on that fact alone. So I was looking around on the site to see what other artists and writers were attending, and I came across this name and series title below. So I bought the first volume, and then this week, I got the second volume. This is just what I need: Another very long series to read. :) Oy! But it’s about a Rabbit Samurai! And so far, I’m really liking it:

The setting is 17th century Japan, when the age of civil wars has barely ended and the Shogun has established power. The samurai is the ruling class throughout the land, following a warrior’s code of honor known as Bushido. Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 1 chronicles this time of settling unrest and political intrigue, told through the story of a wandering and masterless samurai named Miyamoto Usagi, aka Usagi Yojimbo!

“Usagi is no Bugs Bunny. He’s a rabbit samurai who wanders 17th century Japan, a land ravaged by civil war and populated with anthropomorphic animals that are fighting to survive. Classic storytelling, flawlessly designed art and lovingly researched period touches. . .a true all-ages comics treat.” -Publishers Weekly

I used the last of a B&N gift card to also purchase the new Newbery award book. I placed my order right away on Monday the 1oth, right after watching the webcast of the awards, because I didn’t want the sticker on it. And I’ll admit, the pick came out of nowhere. I work in children’s publishing but there are just so many books out there that I can’t keep track of them all. I never heard of it before. I’m reading it right now, but I still am not sure how I feel about it.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.” Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

And now for stuff that actually came in the mail via PaperBackSwap:

Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists… Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.  But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.  And if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in Hell is she returning to? (Guess who the cover artist is? Jason Chan! Awesome!)

France 1789: a time of terror; a charismatic boy, Yann, who must find out who he is; the daring rescue of Sido, an aristocrat’s daughter – these are the elements in this tremendous adventure by a consummate storyteller, a marvellous tale of the first days of the French Revolution. (After reading Revolution, I kind of want to read more about the French Revolution.)

Epic in its sweep and peopled by the remarkable women who have always inhabited Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword of Avalon expands the legendary saga that has enchanted millions of readers over the years and is sure to please Bradley’s loyal readership and anyone who loves wonderfully told stories of history, myth, and fantasy. A boy raised in secret after traitors kill his parents will return to Avalon-and when he does, he’ll be faced with a formidable task: to prove his worth as a son of the kings and priestesses of his land and lead his followers to victory, wielding the newly-forged sword Excalibur. (Oh man, I hope this is the last prequel! I still haven’t read the prequel that came out before this, Ravens of Avalon, but I like knowing that I have the whole set!)

So that’s it for me! I realized the other day that I’ve really been holding back when it comes to book purchases lately. I haven’t done much really. Heck, the last time I even went to the Strand was in July! And I’ve been wanting to go back because apparently they have old-timey candy by the registers. And I really want to see what kind! :)

*In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. Thanks Kristi!*

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